According to Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept, the NSA and GCHQ "are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself." Also, U.S. now spying on German ministers since Merkel is off-limits. And Europe and Brazil are planning an undersea cable to skirt U.S. spying.
Critically, the targets for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of traditional law enforcement against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, hacktivism, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.
The title page of one of these documents reflects the agencys own awareness that it is pushing the boundaries by using cyber offensive techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes.
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